Hold on, Hill

This kind of deceptive oversimplification annoys me, because it's the reason candidates aren't willing to speak with nuance or complexity - the reason speeches are cliched platitudes instead of substance.

Debate transcript (emphasis mine):

CLINTON: Well, I couldn't agree more. But I do think that your record and what you say does matter. And when it comes to...


... a lot of the issues that are important in this race, it is sometimes difficult to understand what Senator Obama has said, because as soon as he is confronted on it, he says that's not what he meant.

The facts are that he has said in the last week that he really liked the ideas of the Republicans over the last 10 to 15 years, and we can give you the exact quote.

Now, I personally think they had ideas, but they were bad ideas. They were bad ideas for America.

That certainly would be a troubling thing for a Democratic candidate to say! It's a good thing Hill is lying to you (because she thinks you're stupid). Let's take a look at what Obama actually said - the not-lying version:

"I think it's fair to say the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there over the last 10, 15 years, in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom. Now, you've heard it all before. You look at the economic policies when they're being debated among the presidential candidates and it's all tax cuts. Well, you know, we've done that, we tried it. That's not really going to solve our energy problems, for example. So, some of it's the times."

Huh, it's almost like he's saying they had ideas, but they were bad ideas (but in a more nuanced, eloquent way).

Let's go back to the transcript for another bite:

CLINTON: Now, let me start with the claim about the bankruptcy
bill. I said very clearly I regretted voting for it and I was happy
that it didn't get into law.

By 2005, there was another run at a bankruptcy reform, motivated
by the credit card companies and the other big lenders. I opposed
that bill. I said very forcefully I opposed that bill.

There was a particular amendment that I think is very telling.
It was an amendment to prohibit credit card companies from charging more than 30 percent interest.

Senator Obama voted for it. I voted against it. It was one of
the biggest lobbyist victories on that very bad bill that the
bankruptcy bill represented.

Again, wow, I'd have a hard time voting for a candidate who snuggles up to predatory lenders! It's a good thing Hill's distorting the truth again! It's almost as if she doesn't trust you to understand votes or positions that aren't just black and white -

From DK:

Obama did vote against the Dayton Amendment (no. 31) to limit interest rates to 30% (no surprise, he admitted as much in the debate). So did 17 other Democratic Senators (including John Kerry, Durbin, Leahy and Wyden) and all the Republicans. Even with Obama's support the amendment would have failed by nearly 3-1 (It had 74 votes against). Hunter notes that senators were concerned that the Amendment was poorly drafted and would probably preempt the more stringent usury laws in many states. In the diary Hunter singles out 10 more amendments that were also rejected, by much narrower margins. Obama voted for all of them.

Objectively Obama's vote on Dayton's amendment (the 30% limit) was completely meaningless. The amendment had no cosponsors (nearly all the others that came to a vote did), and lost by the largest margin of any of the Democratic amendments, failing to garner even a majority of Democratic votes. Hillary cosponsored several of the other amendments (as did Obama); if this one was so important why didn't she sponsor it as well? While I can't speak to the argument that it was poorly drafted and might have had unintended consequences, it is clear that a large number of Democratic Senators who voted consistently for all the other Democratic amendments and against the bill on cloture and final passage, chose to vote against this amendment.

No comments: